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Ageism is prejudice .. and we've had enough!
Ageing isn't a problem or a disease. It's a natural process that each and every one of us must - and will - face if we are lucky enough to live that long. Why then, are we constantly told it's something to be feared??
Age is something that should be revered, embraced and welcomed for the opportunities and experience it affords. It certainly shouldn't be frowned upon.
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The wrinkles, the dicky hip, greying hair and sagging bits ... all stand as tribute to lives lived in laughter, with enthusiasm, energy and wisdom.
Yet there are multibillion-dollar industries built on nurturing and feeding into a fear of this natural process. They'd have us believe that only in youth is there beauty or sex appeal. Wrinkles? Can't have those! Saggy boobs? How dare you??
Yet to me, caving to this pressure to look young seems a betrayal of our minds, bodies and lives lived to the full.
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Why are we so ready to accept an ageist community without question?
Why can't I enjoy a lover 20 years my junior? Who says I have to dress my age and wear my hair a certain way? And why the hell is menopause still something that seems to be discussed in hushed tones?
But most irksome of all, why in bloody hell is it so much harder to get a full-time job after the age of 45?
We have wisdom, have built a myriad of skills, experience and a calmer rationale. It's usually a lot easier for us to spot bullshit, risks, opportunities and multitask, while having the communication skills required .
Yet talk to anyone over the age of 50 and they usually have at least one story of being made to feel invisible, or past it, of being less than worthy/capable, or of having one foot in the grave.
Just recently, at an Estee Lauder counter in the CBD, some judgmental, uppity little bimbo - while testing a new foundation on my skin - kept barking at me to relax my face because my forehead wrinkles were getting in her way. Please, this is just how your face starts to look after 30 years of working in front of a computer screen!
Prior to the job I have now, I spent a disheartening six months getting reject email after reject email for positions I was more than qualified for. I had even gone to the effort of removing my date of birth and educational history dates from my resume, but I guess the years of experience tallied up did not lie.
My colleague, a genius-level software developer/programmer, tells a similar tale. This man is madly gifted and a delight to work with. Yet he was overlooked for numerous positions from the age of 54. One company even lauded him as the best candidate for the job, before letting him down with a weak-ass, pathetic excuse for why he would not be getting the job.
Giddyup! I plan to age as disgracefully as possible. Punk-haired, with more tattoos and rocking the cheeky smirk that enhances all those laughter lines.
And if I can kick down a few ageist barriers holding us all back, I will!
Who's with me!